So the marble building has been my son's activity of choice for the past week. It was trains for the longest time and now it is the marble run. I think it is because he is finally competent at making his own designs without having to follow a manual. It is an old toy we have had for 4 years and he has always loved playing with it but never enjoyed making it, until now.
The problem however is that when he is in trouble he doesn't really ask for help, but gets really frustrated or whines. I have to intervene. When I help, it is never what he wanted because I have no idea what particular creation he had in his mind. Sometimes we meet in the middle and he "accepts" the changes I made so that his structure is more stable, and other times he just rejects it and continues struggling to the point of giving up.
It is interesting because in other things he asks for help (for instance if the computer is stuck, or he cannot find something etc.)
I am not sure how to RDI this particular activity.
The challenges in using RDI in this are:
1) How do I get him to "See" my design which I am creating as I go, without constant verbalisation. I can verbalize but he has trouble when you add too much language, he cannot follow and filter, he gets very dysregulated.
2) How do I "See" his design, except that I let him do it over and over, fail and fail and then when he is willing to accept my help, I do my design. I have done this approach and I find that in the end he is not melting down, but still not happy with it because it was not his. Also he is already so upset that he finds it really hard to come back to a normal state let alone a happy or content one. Emotional regulation is a major issue.
Today I chose to just sit there, and watch him. He was in a good mood so I just let him make a leaning tower and fail and then he seemed to just keep going.
Perhaps we cannot RDI this one. It is not a good framework for guided participation? I am not sure whats what here.
But here is the video I made today while he was working. I skipped some bits because it was too long. You can hear my daughter in the end who is not in the frame but she cannot open a zipper on a bag and is yelling help help :D Typical kids won't stop asking for help and here we have Mr Perfection who can't seem to let me teach him much.
When his tower intially broke he didn't rush to fix it, he chooses to make sure all the marbles actually reach the end the way he wanted them to. Marbles are very stimmy. Once they all go down the way he wants, then he fixes his structure.
ALSO when he was holding on to the tower and looking for connecting bits the bin was far away and I pushed it towards him. He didn't know how to ask for it. Did you notice his little yawn-like sound when I passed him the bin? I guess he was thinking of how to ask and what to say. It is tricky because he knows to reference when he wants something, but what if you want someone to "pass" you something that you could technically get yourself but if you did your tower would fall apart? I think I missed a teaching moment there. Oh well, always next time!
( I have no idea how to fix this wierd elongated video problem. I have tried playing around with aspect ratios on movie maker but nothing worked. It only happens to videos I import from my tiny sony digital camera and not the ones that come from the actual video camera we use more often).
Math and counting
Should have been a separate post, but don't have time and I know I will forget.
Those who read regularly may remember my worries about K not being interested in Math. I tried direct instruction and teaching him correspondence counting (and so did his therapists) but it was a total fail. We know he knows and he wont tell us, it becomes an instructional control battle and those are never won with K. So we have all kind of decided we will not teach him something unless he wants to learn it (VERY anti ABA I know, but trust me it works around here). As a result K has grown to love his table work and loves to learn new things becuase of the way they teach him (using high prob Verbal Behavior), but counting was just not one of them.
He has been watching these number related youtube videos that he found himself by click browsing.
And so recently he has been counting everything!
Here he gathered some items on a bin and told me "There is 10". There were actually 8. So I counted and he watched me and I counted 8. He counted again, but because they are not arranged in any pattern he counted one twice. Perhaps he finds it difficult to visually count scattered items even if they are different kinds? Maybe he can only count things that are lined up?
Maybe because he is so physically dysregulated, that although he scans well, he cannot individually count things in front of him? I don't know, I would love to find out.
He then "traced" numerals on the carpet with his finger up to 8 (like pretend writing) and then went up to his collection and counted 8.
So clearly he has taught himself correspondence counting! Why do we even bother?
But seriously, this is fertile ground for exploring some online math games and such and I am looking for something very simple that he can do on the computer. Because he finds the computer so reinforcing.
I find that Time4Learning and those really popular among autism crowd websites are just too "busy". We need something really simple. Any tips are welcome.